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Battle Beetle Atlassa

Alpanon Sep 14th, 2015 (edited) 2,200 Never
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  1. ‘You shall not pass’ the Lizardwoman said, her voice unwavering, her stance wide and steady, her sword held firmly in both hands.
  2. The Soldier Beetle cocked her head at the silly creature.
  3. ‘You can’t win’ she said plainly, not boasting. It was a mere assessment of the facts. The Lizard had no chances of victory; broad and long as her sword was, it was bent and chipped, made of iron rather than steel, and would break before her shell would.
  4. ‘That may be so’ the Lizard agreed, nodding with her helmeted head. ‘But I’ll have a go all the same!’
  5. The silly phrases aside, this kind of self-destructive behaviour was not normal. It was as if the poor little thing had no concept of self-preservation. Perhaps something was wrong with it? The Soldier Beetle pondered all she knew of Lizardwomen and their ability to survive. They could detach their tail to escape predators, or as an emergency foot-ration, then grow it back with time. The species itself was perfectly normal then, and this individual must have been a deviant.
  6. ‘If you require medical assistance, I’m willing to escort you to a druid or someone similar’ the Soldier Beetle offered jovially.
  7. ‘Enough mincing words! You’ll not have this boy! Have at you!’
  8. The Lizard leapt three steps before lunging directly at the Soldier Beetle. Her movements were overly dramatic and showed a clear lack of understanding of the basic premise of combat, and a wanton disregard for her own safety. Poor thing, though the Beetle as she slightly shifted aside, moving out of the sword’s path and with a single leg kicked the Lizard’s solar plexus, knocking the air out of her lungs, leaving her buckled in half. She withdrew the leg she had kicked with and stomped on the Lizard’s back, but not too hard, and got the grip on the sword to break. With the threat unarmed, the Beetle pinned it to the ground and positioned herself so as to be able to lower her entire body on to her. With the Soldier Beetle’s entire body weighing down on her, the Lizard calmed down considerably.
  9. ‘Might I inquire your name, Lizard?’ asked the Beetle, keeping calm and showing no signs of the internal turmoil she was in at the moment.
  10. ‘I’ll have you know I am Lady Chelsea, and I’ll not be manhandled in this manner while on a chivalrous quest!’ the Lizard spat and hissed at her.
  11. The Beetle nodded with patience, it wouldn’t do any good to try and yell at one of feeble mind.
  12. ‘Lady Chelsea, you seem to have some quarrel with me, so I take it I’m not unknown to you?’ the Beetle attempted to prod diplomatically.
  13. ‘I know plenty! You’re a fiend after that poor boy I’ve sworn to safeguard!’
  14. Quizzically the Beetle observed the surroundings. She saw no boy. A hallucination, perhaps?
  15. ‘If you know me to be a fiend, you might also know my name?’ she said hopefully.
  16. ‘Your name? What do I care of your name, you fiend! You think you’ve bested me? My sister will hear of this, and she’ll avenge me!’ the Lizard kept hissing as an Apophis with a chastity belt. It was curious that the Beetle should know how such a thing sounded when she didn’t know her own name.
  17. ‘Then I take it, Lady Chelsea, that I’m unknown to you?’
  18. ‘Of course! I don’t associate with fiends!’
  19. She sighed with disappointment. It would have been nice to have learned something. Another avenue of investigation presented itself, though.
  20. ‘Then, Lady Chelsea, might I inquire as to what this region we are in is called?’
  21. The Lizard squirmed and moaned, but found no quarter. After another hissy-fit she sighed herself and then pretended to be dead, rolling back her eyes and sticking out her tongue.
  22. ‘Lady Chelsea, you may drop the charade. I can feel your heartbeat’ the Beetle pointed out.
  23. ‘Hmph!’
  24. ‘Would you please answer my question?’
  25. ‘What do you care? You probably live here like all the other fiends!’ the Lizard snapped.
  26. ‘Humour me’
  27. The Lizard groped at the ground with her claws in futility.
  28. ‘Stop toying with me! Just lay your eggs and be done with it!’ she cried out, her voice suddenly breaking.
  29. ‘I beg your pardon?’ the Beetle asked in astonishment.
  30. ‘Your eggs! I know your type! You caught me to lay your eggs in me! Well I’ll not give you the satisfaction of begging for mercy!’
  31. This idea seemed like a jolly bit of fun to the Beetle, thought it was not what her species did for reproduction. Beelzebubs might do such things, but Beetles? Hardly. To her knowledge, at least. And she did seem to have an encyclopaedic knowledge of all things nor pertaining to her own identity or past.
  32. The Lizard was sobbing now.
  33. ‘Are you crying?’ the Beetle asked, confused. Surely this silly little thing didn’t think her a Beelzebub?
  34. ‘I… I’ll never submit! I’ll never surrender!’ she managed, snot running from her nose and tears from her eyes.
  35. ‘Oh dear’ the Beetle sighed. There was no talking to this silly little thing. She eyed up the forest around her and looked for signs of… anything, really. This entire environment was utterly foreign to her. She had merely woken up here a few moments before, and after walking around a bit in disorientation, she’d heard some noise and found the Lizardwoman, who had immediately thought of her as an enemy. The Beetle hadn’t had time to assess the situation beyond it being utterly foreign to her. At least the Lizard’s language was known to her, but there was a strange accent… on her part. Chelsea probably spoke it as her native language; it was the Beetle who had the accent. Of course. This was reasonable.
  36. ‘W-well? What are you still waiting for? Y-you’re going to make me beg for it before you stop tormenting me, is that it? You’ll make me beg for the eggs?’ the Lizard sobbed hysterically… no. There was a different tone in her voice, but it was just so alien in this situation that the Beetle had trouble recognizing it.
  37. Hopefulness. Surely not!
  38. ‘I have no intention, desire or ability to lay eggs in you, Lady Chelsea’ the Beetle said.
  39. ‘O-oh?’
  40. Disappointed. The Lizardwoman was disappointed! Hmm. The Beetle had now realized where the situation stood. And so she stood as well.
  41.  
  42. Without looking back at the perverted Lizard, the Soldier Beetle began to walk away, pondering if she could find someone more helpful deeper in the forest. No, wait, that was wrong. For all she knew, she’d be walking from the deep to the shallow. What a silly way to describe a forest, she thought.
  43. ‘Umm, excuse me?’ asked a frail voice from above. Having been lost to her thoughts, the Soldier Beetle hadn’t been paying attention to her surroundings, and now she noticed several things at once. First of all, the strand of pheromones unmistakably recognizable as a human male, a potential mate, and of course, she noticed the very sight of same.
  44. The male was young, not too young, of course, but barely growing facial hair. The voice had left her thinking it might have been a younger boy, but this one was certainly at least sixteen, maybe older. Almost certainly older, now that she’d had more of an opportunity to sniff at his scent. He was perfectly capable of breeding. Hmm. She licked her lips involuntarily, staring at him without blinking.
  45. ‘A-are you going to rape me?’ the manboy asked, trying to huddle up deeper into his robes. Robes? Yes. He was wearing robes. And there was a backpack and a satchel and belts with pouches on them. And no pants under the robes, huh, spread your legs a little, will you?
  46. ‘Ma’am?’
  47. ‘Hm?’
  48. ‘Are you?’
  49. ‘Am I what?’
  50. ‘Going to rape me? Because if you are, I’m willing to negotiate affections to save my virginity’ he said, fidgeting.
  51. Virgin, huh? She could teach him a thing or two, she could…
  52. ‘Ma’am?’
  53. ‘Why don’t you come down here and find out?’ she said, feeling a tingle in what would have been her spine had she been a vertebrate.
  54. ‘I think I’d rather not’ the manboy said, sinking into the depths of his hood.
  55. ‘Then I’ll come up there’ whispered the Soldier Beetle, licking her lips again and placing one leg on to the tree-trunk, knowing full well it would support her weight just fine.
  56.  
  57. Clang. That was the sound of the dulled iron sword hitting the rear of the Soldier Beetle, sending reverberations through the trembling arms of the Lizardwoman called Chelsea. She didn’t have the time to adjust her lost balance before her sword had been kicked off her hands once again. The Beetle stared into the eyes of the Lizardwoman. There was fire in those eyes, but the icy stare killed it. Chelsea fell on her knees, trembling. The Soldier Beetle turned around and kept climbing… only to find that the manboy was gone. Of course, his scent remained in the air, thus allowing her to easily follow him along the treetops, where it mingled with something else. A… Mantis?
  58. ‘Oh hell’ she muttered to herself. A Mantis had snatched him up? And she hadn’t noticed her? Of course she hadn’t, she’d been so preoccupied with the manboy. And now he was gone. But did it matter? It’s not like mating was a priority for her. Then again he seemed like the type to know what was going on. Very scholarly, with all those things he was carrying and that frail voice and build… yes. It was within her interests to catch up to him and question him. The Mantis could rape him afterward.
  59.  
  60. The canopy wasn’t sturdy enough for a Soldier Beetle to run along on, so she rushed behind her quarry on the ground. A human would never be able to keep up a good pace in all the brush and shrubbery, but a Soldier Beetle had no such trouble. She rushed ahead with a speed great enough to overtake a horse, leaving behind a swath of moderate destruction. The Mantis tried to change directions several times, but a Soldier Beetle maintained a control over her movement directions under the greatest of speeds thanks to the distribution of her mass and the placement of her legs, and so she eventually caught up with the fleeing predator, who dropped down to the ground at a clearing.
  61.  
  62. The Mantis dropped the manboy on the ground and unfolded one of her scythes, which, when not in use, were folded against her forearms. There was a nasty gleam on the blade of it. The Soldier Beetle stood at the edge of the treeline, holding up her own armaments, the shield and the scissor-lance, and staring into the eyes of the Mantis, who stared right back. Neither showed a hint of emotion or exertion, neither had any intent of backing down and, most importantly, both viewed the other as an opponent they could take on.
  63.  
  64. The Soldier Beetle attacked first, rushing ahead at full speed, lance pointed ahead as if she were a knight or a Dragoon jousting.
  65. The Mantis stood still. The man crawled away, and she paid him no heed. It stared at the Beetle until the distance between them was less than an arm’s reach. It seemed too easy, really. Some instinct of self-preservation caused the Beetle to take a side-step, which for a creature her size was quite a drastic move.
  66. One blade whizzed through the air horizontally where the Beetle’s neck would have been had she not moved. The sharp current of air that the force of the cut sent flying blew through her hair. Feeling adrenaline rush, the Beetle brought up her shield to face where the opponent should be, that is, in mid-air.
  67. Sure enough, the Mantis was airborne. She had jumped up to deliver her first blow, and it seemed to the Beetle that she was now quite vulnerable. Something made her suspicious though, and so she stepped backwards rather than attacking.
  68. Turned out this was a wise decision. The folded wings on the Mantis’ back unfolded and moved ever so slightly, and she turned in the air to face her again, delivering another cut. This one was vertical and moved from upwards. It wouldn’t have hit the Beetle anywhere overly dangerous, but if she hadn’t stepped back, the slash would have connected while her own lance-thrust wouldn’t have. The way the Mantis moved in the air made it clear she could dodge easily.
  69.  
  70. The Mantis landed on the ground without a sound, staring intently at the Beetle, who saw no tells in her expression or movement. The Mantis was obviously thinking of her next move, but what would it be? She wasn’t choreographing her next move; that was for certain. Attacking was too dangerous as of yet, this foe was nimble and could outmanoeuvre her. Whether or not she could cut through her shell was still uncertain. Until she found that out, getting caught by one of those slashes was potentially too dangerous. Too dangerous. That idea didn’t seem to leave her for some reason. Instinct warned her that the Mantis was a dangerous predator.
  71. The dangerous predator had had her fill of waiting and crouched low, spreading her arms and their scythes as wide as she could. And then she rushed low, coming full speed at the Beetle’s legs. The reach of these scythes was obviously too great for her to dodge by stepping aside or even leaping aside. The only solution was clear to her. The Beetle jumped up, as high as she could. Certainly the Mantis would hold the advantage in the air, but this was better than allowing a possible hit on her legs or underbelly. The Beetle turned in midair to face downwards and fell with gravity, pointing her lance down. She could still straighten herself up if the Mantis escaped.
  72. She didn’t. Rather, she stuck her feet into the ground to stop her movement, squatted down and jumped up in the air to face her. This move made no sense to the Beetle, as her force was quite clearly far superior.
  73. She moved her lance in a wide swing instead of trying to impale her foe as she had originally intended. The Mantis caught the move with the flats of her scythes, and then the unthinkable happened.
  74. The Beetle stopped falling. Her momentum was completely halted. For the briefest moment both insects remained stuck still in the air, staring into one another’s eyes. The Mantis’ antennae twitched. The Beetle replied in kind. Then the moment was over and the rules of nature returned to full effect. They began to fall, and pushed away from each other.
  75.  
  76. The Soldier Beetle and the Mantis struck the ground rather close to one another, and both jumped away to get some distance and time to reconsider. If the Beetle’s instincts were telling her the Mantis was a dangerous predator, then the Mantis’ instincts were telling her the Beetle was not prey. Both were confused by this encounter. Soldier Beetles did not inhabit this region. They had not evolved side by side with Mantises. Neither girl had any frame of reference for the existence of the other; both were confused by this encounter.
  77. What was the reason they were fighting again?
  78.  
  79.                         ***
  80.  
  81. A man was hiding in the bushes, observing the clash of the horrendous insect monsters. His name was Douglas Melvin, but Doug to his friends. And mom. Mostly his mom.
  82. Doug was of a scholarly disposition, and this showed in his physique, which was lanky and frail. He felt powerless on account of not having physical strength or political power, and so he yearned to become a wizard. Or maybe a warlock. Warlocks got to have harems of sex-crazed Demons of all sorts.
  83. Magic was what he wanted, in any case. To obtain this, he had set out to start apprenticehood with a wizard. In the area he lived in this meant, of course, the old man who lived in the woods. Deep in the woods, so deep that reaching him was a test of determination and willpower in its own right. A test Doug feared he had failed when he ran into the Lizard. Luckily for him, Lizards were silly creatures and easily manipulated. By sheer gall he had managed to convince her to become his bodyguard and escort him to “his ailing grandfather who lives as a recluse for religious reasons”, which for her was a chivalrous quest. Things went well until a loud noise and a flash of light appeared out of nowhere. Quite obviously magic had been involved.
  84. The Soldier Beetle showed up then. Doug had seen illustrations of these things in bestiaries. They lived in the mountainous forest regions down south, as far as he knew. They didn’t come anywhere near here. They didn’t migrate. Except the variety that lived in the desert, or so it was claimed. Doug didn’t have time to inspect the one that showed up carefully enough to determine which variety she was. Rather, he took the opportunity to allow the Lizard fulfil her duty while he made his way up into a tree for safety reasons.
  85. The Soldier Beetle had one easily. And then the Mantis had shown up. He was uncertain as to how he should feel. On one hand, the Soldier Beetle might rape him. On the other, the Mantis DEFINETLY would rape him. Maybe rooting for the Beetle wasn’t such a bad idea. Maybe it could be reasoned with. Maybe he could discover why it had shown up out of nowhere in a flashbang of obvious magic. What trickery was involved here? Curiosity had gotten the better of him, and he remained at the edge of the clearing, observing the battle rather than running away. Of course if he had run away, he might well have gotten raped by something else. Better the devil you know.
  86.  
  87.                         ***
  88.  
  89. That’s right. The manboy. The Beetle remembered that now. There was a prize to be won here. She wouldn’t lose. She needed purpose anyway to keep her mind off the anxiety of not knowing who she was.
  90. The Beetle spread her legs a little to widen her stance, then slid her shield back a little to get a firmer, two-handed grip on her lance. To do battle was in her blood. Or whatever fluids passed for blood in her.
  91. Observing this new stance the Mantis rotated the scythe in one arm to face differently. Her scythes were now asymmetrical and less predictable. She rushed the Beetle.
  92. She’s quick, the Beetle thought as the green blur approached. But so am I!
  93. What she did next wasn’t exactly proper martial arts; it was more gymnastics, really. She thrust her lance into the ground, then used it like the pole of a height jumper, used it as leverage to send her body flying sideways toward the blur, two legs brought up into a pointed spear.
  94. Turned out the Mantis was quicker still, as she caught the kick with the flats of her blades, then used this point of contact as support to send herself below the Beetle, where she struck one scythe upwards to stab at the belly.
  95. By sheer reflex the Beetle caught the blade within less than an inch of her belly, holding it between three legs, two on one side, and one on the other. This left her in a rather awkward position. Both of her arms were strained from holding her body up in the air atop the tilted lance, but to let go would mean being impaled by the blade. Meanwhile the Mantis lowered her feet to the ground as if saying she could afford to wait. Then she swung her free blade, and the Beetle had to block with her free legs. It was a daunting task, blocking the scythe’s swings from the side so as to not be caught by the sharp edge, especially when visibility was quite limited. It was… exhilarating.
  96.  
  97. The Mantis had the advantage, of course. Once the sheer confusion of her opponent being capable of blocking her blows like this dissipated, she would be able to concentrate enough to bypass the guard. The Beetle knew this on an intellectual level. Something had overcome that, though. She was enjoying herself. Why? Logic dictates that a life-threatening battle like this should be avoided and that it would feel unpleasant. Perhaps she had a twisted personality. But if she did enjoy it, she might as well REALLY enjoy it.
  98. The Beetle squirted at the Mantis from her bottom. Whatever the stuff was, it came out in a boiling stream that left a small, steaming dent in the ground where the Mantis had been. She’d barely dodges the unexpected new attack, but being a Mantis, her reflexes had saved her. The Beetle felt oddly lighter now that she’d done what she hadn’t even known she could do. Relieved, she dropped down and got some rest for her arms.
  99. She saw her foe staring at her from a distance, evaluating whether another boiling squirt was to be expected. She’d realized that the Beetle was a more formidable foe than expected, yet again. More formidable than the Beetle herself expected. And then there was a sound from somewhere, imperceptible to human ears. The Mantis tilted her head and her shoulders slumped.
  100. She turned her head to the Beetle.
  101. “Mother is calling. I need to go now. The boy is yours” she said, and with that she rushed off.
  102.  
  103. The Beetle tilted her head as well. She couldn’t make out anything from the sound. Could be it was just something peculiar to Mantises. It didn’t matter. Their fight was done just when she’d gotten excited, so it was time to put that excitement towards something else.
  104. She turned to face the bushes where the man was, thinking he was hidden.
  105. “This will go easier if you come out and surrender yourself without a fight” the Beetle shouted to the bushes. “Resistance is futile”.
  106.  
  107. Doug emerged from the bushes with his hands in the air. He’d seen what this new Monster was capable of. He might have preferred staying in the clutches of the Mantis after all. Or maybe not. From what he heard she’d mentioned a mother. That meant double the trouble.
  108. “I’m surrendering, I’m surrendering” he said, trying to think up some way to potentially stave off the inevitable ravaging. He walked to her unsteadily. Getting closer, he really saw just how big the Beetle was. The knee-like parts on her legs reached above his head. The human-looking bit growing out of the carapace was shaped like a young adult, based on his limited knowledge of the female form. Her inhuman eyes betrayed no emotion, and the muscles on her face were rigidly stuck in a plain, vacant expression. The only thing that gave away anything about what was going on in her mind was the faint blush on her cheeks.
  109. “What, may I ask, is your name, m’lady?” he asked with a stiff bow.
  110.  
  111. The Beetle felt confused. The man was behaving erratically. Maybe he’d hit his head? No matter. He’d be too tired to be fussy after a couple of rounds; the questions could wait until then. This line of thought was the reasonable one to have, and so it was to her surprise she felt her cheeks get hotter in what she could only describe as a blush, and lips involuntarily formed the words “O-ohh, oh, I, umm…”
  112. This was odd. There was nothing hindering her ability to speak. She might not have had a name to give, but that didn’t mean she had to stutter and be uncertain. She could have just told him she had no name. Wait, she wasn’t even obliged to answer him!
  113. Feeling in control again, the Beetle looked down upon the man and pointed her lance at him.
  114. “Give me your name, boya!” she said, with no idea why she added the extra ‘a’ at the end.
  115. “Me? Oh, where are my manners! I’m Douglas Melvin. YOU may call me Doug” he said, wiggling his eyebrows. This made the Beetle take a troubled step backwards. What was the meaning of this activity? The man was a potential threat. Surely this was a sign of some wanton madness, and it was contagious!
  116. “Doug…” she muttered, her antennae twitching. Why were they twitching?
  117. The man smiled. “Yes. Doug. And you, m’lady?”
  118. “A…ah…”
  119. There was nothing to say. There was no name to give. And she hated it! Why didn’t she have a name? She should have a name! A pretty name! A name so pretty every damn Doug in the world would pat her on the head for having such a name!
  120. “M’lady?”
  121. “Never say that again” she ordered, keeping her voice level with great mental effort. This manner of speech was confusing her. It might be a sort of hypnosis. Did men have such skills? Mind control? To make the physically superior females subservient? Bah! She’d almost fallen for it!
  122. Her antennae twitched again as she stabbed her lance through the hood of his robe and lifted him in the air by it. He grabbed the lance with both hands and kicked the air furiously, but he didn’t say a word of protest. Aha! So he WAS afraid after all!
  123. “Tell me where we are” she demanded, still not thinking quite clearly, but at last having some focus. Ascertaining her location, that was important. Then she’d be able to figure out where to go. Maybe. Like finding shelter, and a source of food and water, and a vantage point. Sex was already practically hers.
  124. “W-why we’re right…”
  125. “Talk without unnecessary words” she commanded, keeping her voice level with less effort than before.
  126. “We’re in the forest” he said.
  127. That much was obvious. Was he stupid, or mocking her?
  128. “What forest? Does it have a name?”
  129. “No ma’am, it doesn’t. It’s just the forest. It’s all over the place. In every direction, really. All the way to the mountains in the North, and I don’t know where in every other direction!” he rambled on.
  130. “And you live in this forest?” she inquired.
  131. “Oh, heaven’s no! I live in the village!” he answered happily, almost forgetting his dire situation.
  132. “And this village has a name?”
  133. “I’m afraid not, sorry”
  134. That wasn’t very useful at all.
  135. “Why are you in the forest, Doug…las Melvin?” she asked, almost losing her composure at saying his name.
  136. “As a matter of fact I’m off to see the wizard” said Doug.
  137. This set off a number of thoughts in her head. The most important of which was “here is something worth learning more about”. Wizard sounded like something suspicious. Her own presence in a foreign biosphere was suspicious. There had to be a connection there. It was only logical.
  138. “You will guide me to this wizard” she said.
  139. “How?” he asked, looking worried.
  140. “How? You will show me to where he is. Simple.” she elaborated.
  141. “Well, the thing about that is, is that, that is, I…”
  142. “You are lost?” she asked.
  143. “Yes!”
  144. Troublesome.
  145. “We will follow our tracks back to where you weren’t lost” she said, matter-of-factly.
  146. “Y-you might want to… to turn around first?” he said, gazing past her shoulder.
  147. A simple trick that only worked on those with simple minds, the Beetle thought. Then she felt a slightly annoying tingle and heard the thud of an impact. She turned her head to look what had just ineffectually attacked her ass.
  148. It was the Lizard, panting heavily and wielding a thick stick.
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